iPhone – The first 7 days.

Actually I didn’t want to write about the iPhone because I was sick of this whole hype. It was almost like in the movie »Being John Malcovich« when John Malcovich enters his portal and all he can say or hear is his name »Malcovich«

»i’m sick of these iphone news – i want mac and mac os x rumors and news. come on – one day without any iphone news please!« via twitter

Now more and more people around me got themselves an iPhone and there were plenty of occasions for them in the last couple of months to show how cool this device really is. Still I had doubts, touch keyboard and everything but right from the introduction of the original iPhone it was clear to me that it was superior to any other device out there. I’d like to point out that it was clear to me. I’m well aware of other opinions from other people but I don’t care about those for this post.

At the 25C3 (25th Chaos Communication Congress) even more people showed off with their iPhones which lead me to the spontaneous decision to buy one for myself. This is how it happened. The salesperson was very friendly and the whole setup wasn’t taking too long. Since that day I’m extremely happy with it. I have to say though that I was not using any kind of internet service on a mobile phone before. It seemed kind of wrong on my previous phones and I didn’t see any potential use for it on other available devices. It reminded me on the story about my very first computer. Back in 1994 when all my friends had Amigas, C64s, Ataris or even Windows 3.11 machines, i couldn’t see any potential use for me. Sure enough they were good for games but even the games were kind of, uhm bad. There were exceptions but for me it just wasn’t worth spending so much money. Then one day, my best friend from school (probably 4th or 5th grade) got the first PowerMac as a christmas present. We spent lots of time together and sure enough we did spend a lot of time in front of his mac as well. It was instantly clear to me that this computer, this operating system was really something good and way more sophisticated than all the other systems I mentioned before. Hell it had 1024×768 resolution and 16 Bit colors where all my other friends were still in the Vesa/VGA world. It was clear to me that if my parents would buy me a computer, i had to be an Apple Macintosh. While all my other school friends spent their time playing dull little computer games, my friend and I would create a small school magazine, created graphics for school presentations and played with Macromedia Director to create foolish little adventure games of our own. A whole different story.

In a way using the iPhone feels the same. There are a lot of people with Blackberries or Nokia Communicators etc. For some reason you don’t see those people using it for anything other than writing emails, sending sms, calling people, managing addresses. In rare occasions you see them actually browse web pages. If you held one of these devices in your own hands you know that it is no fun to use them – everything is in this »serious business« theme. I don’t know how to describe it, I just have the feeling that the iPhone is the complete opposite of every other device out there.

It is fun to use, in every aspect and emailing, phone calls and sms are probably the most normal things you would do and I mean it in a way that you do it when you have to do it but there is so much more on this device that you can do. Things you want to do, things that I haven’t seen on other devices and if I’ve seen them the differences were like comparing Photoshop and Paint although thats probably a little exaggerated. On the other hand – have you seen the illustrations / drawings that people do with an app called brushes on the iPhone?

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=iphone+brushes&m=tags

or Disneys Art Director:

http://flickr.com/photos/stefsketches/sets/72157607051336347/detail/

And that is really just one aspect of this device out of a million. All the apps Apple is shipping a very good. Much higher quality and usability as any other windows mobile counter part. The interfaces are just beautiful, as if they were made just for your fingers to touch (as a matter of fact they are). I’m kind of laughing at the people who are using their phones with a stylus.

The other part I really like is the app store. Call me fanboy but I think the user experience to get new apps is very good. Of course there is lots of room for improvements but again, its working very well.
I already bought a couple of apps and I downloaded bunch of free ones. The process of installing (once you set up your store account *sigh*) updating and uninstalling is so smooth its completely effortless. The apps themselves, as well as the games are usually a lot of fun. Of course there is a lot of crap too but I already found so many good or fun ones, I really don’t care if 100.000 people freak out about iFart.

I got my iPhone for about a week now and it already helped me in a handful of occasions with its location aware features or the UMTS/EDGE connectivity in combination with a really good web browser or other apps.

I’m really happy with it and no matter if the Android will be on the same level or better – for now the iPhone feels far superior to any other device. The touchscreen, the user interface, the applications and the games. (Yes I had the Android in my hands for a couple of hours. Yes I tried couple of applications, pre-installed and downloaded ones)

In the end I have to admit that I am not entirely sure about being completely in this Apple vendor locked in world. I look at it carefully but its hard as it is working so smoothly and bringing me so much joy, joy I really haven’t anticipated from a mobile phone with a touch screen interface.

Not sure if a post like this can be taken seriously, but I was so happy that I needed to write about it.

Mission accomplished, like it or hate it 😉

Update 1:

A friend just told me that this post was 18 months too late – I’m aware of that.

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